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Monday, July 15, 2024

Iran announces presidential election winner

Heart surgeon-turned-politician Masoud Pezeshkian will succeed the late Ebrahim Raisi

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian has won Iran’s presidential election, securing 53.3% of the vote and defeating his conservative rival Saeed Jalili, the national election authority announced on Saturday.

With all ballots counted, Pezeshkian secured 16.4 million votes, while Jalili received 13.5 million votes, Press TV reports. Turnout was 30.5 million, or 49.8% of the 61 million eligible voters, according to a final update at 6:45 am local time (3:15 GMT).

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The snap election was called after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province on May 19. According to Iranian law, a candidate needs to garner at least 50% plus one vote; thus, after no candidate achieved this in the first round on June 28, the election headed into a runoff between the top two candidates.

Pezeshkian, 69, is a heart surgeon-turned-politician who served as health minister in the 2000s and as first deputy speaker of parliament from 2016 to 2020. Jalili, 58, was Tehran’s negotiator during nuclear talks with world powers.

The candidates were approved by Iran’s Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists that holds veto power over legislation passed by parliament and determines who can seek office in the Islamic Republic.

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